By AOMEI / Last Updated January 14, 2021

Can you transfer Windows 7 to another hard drive?

What does it mean when you say transfer Windows 7 to new hard drive? Generally, the way to transfer an operating system currently means to clone system partition (direct) or backup & restore system (indirect) to another place.

Windows 7

To be specific, you move operating system files, boot files, all files and installed programs on C drive to another partition of a different disk. Then, you can boot into the same Windows 7 operating system from the target hard disk, with better experience or shorter boot up time usually.

Well, what exactly can you benefit from migrating Windows 7 to new hard drive?

  • Upgrade old hard drive. This might be the most common reason for system migration. As covered before, run operating system on a new disk, SSD in particular, would bring better user experience.

  • Expand disk space. Low disk space warning might appear when more and more files been created and applications been installed. It may affect the use of Windows 7 OS in the worst case. Transferring Windows 7 to larger disk can easily solve this issue.

  • Use SSD for OS and HDD for storage. Many users choose to install OS on SSD and use hard disk drive for data storage, which is actually a very efficient arrangement for making use of different disk types.

  • Make a backup. Create a duplication of Windows 7 system on other places is a good disaster recovery solution.

Powerful tool to copy Windows 7 to new hard drive

Windows 7 to new hard drive migration can be realized effortlessly with the help of an all-in-one powerful software that integrates with backup and restore feature as well as clone feature. You could consider using free disk cloning software AOMEI Backupper Standard to complete Windows 7 migration with its "Disk Clone" or "System Backup and Restore" feature.

In addition, if you want an easier way to migrate Windows 7, you could consider using AOMEI Backupper Professional and its "System Clone" feature. It will only clone items on the system partition, including operating system(OS), system reserved partition or EFI system partition, recovery partition, system drivers, installed programs and personal data etc.

Finally, I would like to introduce you some excellent features in this software that may be of interest to you. For backup and restore feature, you could consider using its schedule backup, the default settings are daily incremental backup, which can help you backup Windows 7 system or hard drive and subsequent changes.

For clone feature, you could consider using its "SSD Alignment|" to boost performance if the new hard drive is an SSD. Also, if the new hard drive is a larger drive, you could use "Edit Partitions(supported by AOMEI Backupper Professional)" to adjust partition size of destination disk in case you can't use full HDD capacity after cloning.

Move Windows 7 to new hard drive with 2 free ways

Here you will learn how to migrate Windows 7 to another HDD or SSD free with "Disk Clone" or "System Backup and Restore" feature in AOMEI Backupper Standard. If you want to clone entire hard drive with Windows 7 installed to another new hard drive, you could consider using Way 1. But if you want to migrate OS only, you could consider using Way 2. These are just some of my suggestions, you can also read it first, and then decide.

Way 1. Clone a hard drive in Windows 7

To clone hard drive in Windows 7, the first thing is to download and install AOMEI Backupper Standard on your computer. Then, Connect or install the new hard drive to your computer and make sure it can be detected. You may need an SATA-to-USB adapter if there is only one disk bay.

Please make sure the new hard drive is large enough to store all data on the current disk, otherwise the cloning process will fail. You can reduce volume data by deleting useless files or uninstalling unnecessary applications.

Next is the detailed steps to clone Windows 7 to new hard drive, just follow the instructions.

1. Open AOMEI Backupper Standard and switch to Clone tab. To clone the hard drive with Windows 7 installed, choose Disk Clone.

Disk Clone

Note: This Standard edition only supports same partition style cloning if the hard drive contains system, i.e. GPT to GPT and MBR to MBR. To check the partition style, you can check the properties of disk in the disk management and it's under the Volume tab.

2. Select the source disk (i.e. the Windows 7 hard drive), and click Next.

Select Disk

3. Select the target disk (i.e. the new hard drive), and click Next.

Select Destination Disk

4. Before you click Start Clone, you can edit partitions, specify cloning method, and check SSD alignment. Then, wait untill the process ends and click "Finish".

>> Edit Partitions: you are allowed to specify partition sizes, labels, etc. Some options are only available in advanced versions.

>> SSD Alignment: it is suggested to check this option to improve performance if you want to clone the hard drive with Windows 7 to an SSD.

>> Sector by sector clone: by checking this option, AOMEI Backupper will clone every sector to the target disk, no matter it is used or not. Do not check it when cloning larger drive to smaller drive.

Start Clone

✐ Boot up notes:
There are two ways to boot up Windows 7 on new hard drive.
1. (Recommended) Shut down your PC and remove the source disk. Install the newly cloned hard drive on the machine. Start up your PC.
2. Restart your PC and press Del (or F2, or F12) to enter BIOS. Change boot priority to the new hard drive and press F10 to save and start.

Way 2. Backup and restore Windows 7 operating system

This method will tell you how to perform backup system and restore on new hard drive. More manual operations are involved than other methods. Check the detailed steps below.

Part 1. Create system image for Windows 7

Install AOMEI Backupper Standard and open it, click Backup and then System Backup. Next, follow the wizard to complete the system backup. Make sure you store the backup image on a path where can be accessed easily.

System Backup

Part 2. Restore Windows 7 on new hard drive

In AOMEI Backupper Standard, click Restore and then Select Task. Select the backup task you just created. At the step of selecting destination path, choose Restore system to other location, and then navigate to the new hard drive.

Select Backup Image

• To restore Windows 7 system image to new computer with dissimilar hardware, you will use Universal Restore in AOMEI Backupper Professional or advanced version. If necessary, please upgrade the freeware first.
• To restore a failed computer, you'll need to create a bootable media on a work PC in advance.

Part 3. Start up Windows 7 on new hard drive

Shut down your PC when the restoration finishes. You can load Windows 7 from the new disk through one of the two ways mentioned in Way 1.

Clone Windows 7 to new hard drive directly (advanced & easier)

This part will introduce you an advanced & easier way to clone Windows 7 to another drive directly, with AOMEI Backupper Professional, the advanced edition of AOMEI Backupper Standard.

You can transfer OS to new hard drive directly in a few clicks with this professional cloning software. The steps are similar to clone the hard drive with Windows 7 installed, but this method will only clone system and its boot related drive to target disk. Other data partitions will be excluded.

1. Install or connect the new hard drive to your machine, and make sure it can be detected. Open AOMEI Backupper Professional, click Clone and then System Clone.

Choose System Clone

2. Select the target drive since the system drive and boot-related partitions are selected by default.

Choose Destination Partition

3. Before it starts cloning, you can check SSD Alignment and Sector by Sector Clone method. Then, start the process to clone Windows 7 to new hard drive.

System Clone Preview

4. Click Finish when it completes. Then, boot your computer using methods in Way 1 and check if all your content are intact.


Three ways on how to clone Windows 7 to new hard drive has been introduced in details above, now it's your time to select one among them to transfer Windows 7. And it's suggested to use old hard drive for storage to store important files if it still works well.

To be honest, AOMEI Backupper is quite helpful in data and system migration due to its lucid user interface and ease of use. No technical skills or knowledge required for users.

It is suggested to keep the software installed after cloning, and safeguard your computer files with automated file backup/sync solution. Save time and effort.